Phone: 203 742-1450
Fairfield County Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Bridgeport

May 18, 2024

“We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love,” Mother Teresa said. “There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.”
— Mother Teresa

Mother TheresaSt. Mother Teresa knew more about loneliness than most people. In her home for the sick and dying in Calcutta, she helped thousands of abandoned people who had nowhere to go and came to her to spend their last days in peace. But to Mother there was something worse. She once said, “In the West, there is a loneliness, which I call the leprosy of the West. It is worse than our poor in Calcutta suffer.”

She, herself, suffered from what is called “the dark night of the soul” for almost 50 years and was often overwhelmed by spiritual doubt, despair and personal loneliness. It is a spiritual cross that many mystics have endured and even ordinary people, who are grieving.

Those who grieve are familiar with loneliness after losing someone they love. It can be difficult to overcome, especially when someone you’ve loved all your life is gone. Finding hope and joy will be one of the most difficult challenges on your healing journey.

And there is a loneliness that only the dying know. Mother often told this story about dying, loneliness and forgiveness: “I once picked up a woman from a garbage dump, and she was burning with fever. She was in her last days and her only lament was: ‘My son did this to me.’ I begged her: ‘You must forgive your son. In a moment of madness, when he was not himself, he did a thing he regrets. Be a mother to him, forgive him.’ It took me a long time to make her say: ‘I forgive my son.’ Just before she died in my arms, she was able to say that with real forgiveness. She was not concerned that she was dying. The breaking of the heart was that her son did not want her. This is something you and I can understand.”

***

Sign Up for Healing Journey Messages

Receive a daily message to your email address.